Monday, October 14, 2013

On The Road at El Camino

October 13, 2013
  Yesterday, in the big tent, at the Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium, I walked in and heard a fantastic swing band and leaned over to a cowboy standing in the back and said, "Who is this?" The cowboy looked at me like I was from Iowa and said, "It's Billy Mata." Evidently they are a Country Swing Band from the Hill Country. Mighty good.

Billy Mata Entrances the big tent at The Lincoln County Cowboy Symposium

Got up Sunday morning at four and cruised on into Socorro and had huevos rancheros at El Camino Family Restaurant. Sat by the window and watched the sun come up as a big-boned waitress with a big rack poured me coffee and asked me, "Everything okay?" It was, I assured her. There were two Soccoro cops at the counter, so I knew the coffee was good. Four booths away in my line of sight was an old coot with a cane sticking out in the aisle. Out of the overhead speakers came Waylon singing about "America".

I took off from Socorro at seven and by nine I was approaching the Arizona line at Red Hill.

Looking into Arizona on a lonesome highway

I love this long stretch of highway because it's so serene. I met maybe four cars in the 50 mile stretch to Springerville. I did pass a couple slowpokes, as I was averaging 80 most of the way. As I shot past a couple slow-moving vehicles I imagined the occupants looking at me and muttering, "Look at that asshole go."

West of Show Low, the traffic bogged down with campers and trucks carrying ATVs, all going home to the Valley. When I went down the hill after Payson, the traffic increased and I found myself being passed by cars and trucks like I was standing still. I was still going 80, and I found myself muttering to myself, "Look at those assholes go!"

Got home at one, a nine-hour-run.

"I'm at the age where even the old coots are younger than me."
—BBB, reflecting on the old coot in El Camino